Psalm 31

Psalm 31

What is shame? Shame is feeling of unworthiness and an effort to cover up true self. When we do not know that we are children of God, the Creator and the King of all kings, we try to show off by doing something people look up to. When we fail those efforts, we feel unworthy and shame. However, when we know that we are children of God, our value does not depend on outside achievements or looks. We feel confident and proud of ourselves all the time. That is why when David felt shameful, he went back to God and renewed his relationship with God!

In you, O Lord, I seek refuge; do not let me ever be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me. Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily. Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me.

 You are indeed my rock and my fortress; for your name’s sake lead me and guide me, take me out of the net that is hidden for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.”

David kept focusing on God, not on his enemies. He meditated who God was and what his relationship with God was. That is all that matter.

 You hate those who pay regard to worthless idols, but I trust in the Lord.
 I will exult and rejoice in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have taken heed of my adversities, and have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy; you have set my feet in a broad place.”

We know that David’s enemies were idol worshippers. However, other than that David did not give us much information about them. Instead, he put his condition in detail to God.

 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eye wastes away from grief, my soul and body also. For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my misery, and my bones waste away. I am the scorn of all my adversaries, a horror to my neighbors,
an object of dread to my acquaintances; those who see me in the street flee from me. I have passed out of mind like one who is dead; I have become like a broken vessel. For I hear the whispering of many—terror all around!—as they scheme together against me, as they plot to take my life.”

When he confirmed his relationship with God based on God’s grace, he could pray to God: “But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors. Let your face shine upon your servant; save me in your steadfast love. Do not let me be put to shame, O Lord, for I call on you; let the wicked be put to shame; let them go dumbfounded to Sheol. Let the lying lips be stilled that speak insolently against the righteous with pride and contempt.”

After the prayer of supplication, David trusted God and started praising Him!

O how abundant is your goodness that you have laid up for those who fear you, and accomplished for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of everyone! In the shelter of your presence you hide them from human plots;
you hold them safe under your shelter from contentious tongues. Blessed be the Lord, for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me when I was beset as a city under siege. I had said in my alarm, ‘I am driven far from your sight.’ But you heard my supplications when I cried out to you for help.”

Then his personal praise became public witness and encouragement: “Love the Lord, all you his saints. The Lord preserves the faithful, but abundantly repays the one who acts haughtily. Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord.”

We will end up having shame when we try to meet the standards of the world. We will have positive self-image when we accept the fact that we are beloved children of God, no matter what. Read the stories of Nick Buichichi, Myunghee Song, and other marginal people! They all find their self-worth in God! We can see our value rightly only through the eyes of our Father!

 

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About biblepreacher

United Methodist Church Pastor. My wife, Hysung Hong Lee, is also a UMC pastor and my Son, Hozeh, and Daughter, Hoyon, are college students.
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